Squat Mid-foot Balance Problem Squat Mid-foot Balance Problem

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Thread: Squat Mid-foot Balance Problem

  1. #1
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    Default Squat Mid-foot Balance Problem

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    Hi, I posted on here about 3 months ago and got some feedback, and fixed some of my problems. However, I am still failing to make progress on my squat due to an inability to keep the bar in balance over mid-foot. I have tried a few different things to rectify this but nothing is working consistently for me. One thing I tried was squatting with the upright of my rack close in front of me, to prevent me from coming forward and hitting it with the bar. This actually caused me to go too far in the opposite direction, and the bar was behind mid-foot. I couldn't manage to make that strategy useful so I'm looking for other suggestions. I need a solution that works repeatedly so that I can fix my ingrained form issues and progress my squat.

    I default to squatting way forward of mid-foot. The only way I seem to be able to get the bar back closer to where it needs to be is to really exaggerate squatting on my heels. This feels extremely awkward even at light weights, and I feel like I'm either arching the shit out of my back or about to fall over.

    This is the best I can do for now, if need be I'll have to get two cameras and record multiple angles per set. Thanks.

    My regular squat, bar path side view

    No TUBOW, trying to stay on heels and upright, side bar path view

    TUBOW, on heels and upright as possible. side bar path view

    Rear view, tubow

  2. #2
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    The reason your weight is in front is because you aren't sitting your hips back far enough. don't think 'heels' think either "nipples to floor" or "butt back". I give both as options since typically one will make the issue worse and one will fix the issue. Also, your form isn't like the world is ending so you can still progress while fixing these issues.

  3. #3
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    Why did you put "upright as possible"?

    You need to have a more angled torso.

    Maybe you think leaning forward will put the bar more forward. But think of it as putting your ass backward to get more bent over. The more you lean over the tighter your hamstrings become, thus helping your arrest your knees from going forward so much. It will put more of your body mass rearward too.

    If your knees come.forward too much, everything else above that comes forward too much.

    This is probably not the SS way of thinking about it, but this is how I see it.

  4. #4
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    Did your squat stall? What were your workset weights? Pretty sure my form looks like shit with light weights. Pretty sure it looks like shit all the time actually, but I keep adding weight to the bar. Don't get stuck in a paralysis by analysis rut.

    That being said, go see a coach and this will all fixed quickly! Just my two cents

  5. #5
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    As they say: a coach can fix issues rep to rep. Posting vids to a forum can fix issues workout to workout. . .assuming you actually fixed anything. But, Royce, my form with 290 is so much better than it is with 135 (no seriously it is but that's totally irrelevant to why there are issues here). But now that I say that, a great way to diagnose issues with not keeping the weight over the middle of your foot is to slap a true work set weight on there and see what happens. The heavier the weight the more likely it is that you will be able to feel where the weight is going. If you go on your toes with work set weight you will damn well know it.

    To elaborate on what I said: purely thinking about "oh my weight is on X part of my foot" is ridiculous. There are a billion and one ways to move your weight around. If you raise your toes, weight goes on your heels. If you lean the torso backwards, weight goes to the heels. If your butt goes back without your torso going forward, your weight goes to your heels. You will figure the weight distribution thing out as you squat heavier and heavier weights. Don't be paranoid to put more weight on the bar because you might be a bit on your toes.

  6. #6
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    Dalton,
    Same here. Less variation is allowed when the weight gets heavier. OP, let's see some weight on the bar.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalton Clark View Post
    The reason your weight is in front is because you aren't sitting your hips back far enough. don't think 'heels' think either "nipples to floor" or "butt back". I give both as options since typically one will make the issue worse and one will fix the issue. Also, your form isn't like the world is ending so you can still progress while fixing these issues.
    I've tried experimenting with these two ideas but I don't think it really helped. I'll give them another shot and see if I can get it right. After reading and re-reading the book, I made the mistake of trying to follow "nipples to the floor" too closely, and neglected the master cue of mid-foot balance. I don't think this cue was as appropriate for me because my torso is long relative to my leg length, so my squat will tend to look more upright.

    Quote Originally Posted by MBasic View Post
    Why did you put "upright as possible"?

    You need to have a more angled torso.

    Maybe you think leaning forward will put the bar more forward. But think of it as putting your ass backward to get more bent over. The more you lean over the tighter your hamstrings become, thus helping your arrest your knees from going forward so much. It will put more of your body mass rearward too.

    If your knees come.forward too much, everything else above that comes forward too much.

    This is probably not the SS way of thinking about it, but this is how I see it.
    My thinking was that I was leaning too far forward and had to correct the other way, yes. I figured the correction is to think "upright" because of the reason above. I followed the "nipples to the floor" cue, and possibly developed an over-exaggerated forward lean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Royce Nichols View Post
    Did your squat stall? What were your workset weights? Pretty sure my form looks like shit with light weights. Pretty sure it looks like shit all the time actually, but I keep adding weight to the bar. Don't get stuck in a paralysis by analysis rut.

    That being said, go see a coach and this will all fixed quickly! Just my two cents
    Yes, I did stall early on, and stalled again when scaling the weight up. My squat form looks about the same as it does with these weights, very shitty bar path. I have had back problems on and off that have probably been somewhat caused by the massive moment arm in my heavy squats. I want to get more consistency before I push the weights up again.

  8. #8
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    I think we are onto something. Reading everything it sounds like you are thinking about your back and waist. Learning forward, staying upright. What if you try this: lean forward and put your ass back? Because that is EXACTLY what we want. We want you leaning forward. . .but if you lean forward without counterbalancing yourself with your badonkadonk, clearly you're going to have issues. Most lifters naturally have their body do the other part. If they put their hips back, they will lean more forward or vice versa. However, I have met people who have limited balance and their bodies don't naturally do this for them. If that is the case, you will have to get time under the bar to figure that out.

    Now, not to toot my own horn here, but I managed to squat up to 275 pounds with straight up vertical shins, frog toes, and an extra wide stance. I basically squatted 275 with my groin. So typically good progress can still be made with poor form. Besides, your form is far from the worse we have seen on here and you passed the TUBOW test. Your form is definitely not one that would lead me to suspect injury.

    OP, what weights have you previously stalled at? Don't be shy, we won't judge ya. Just give us some numbers to mull over so we can get you back on the one true path.

    This is a long winded, rambling post but here are our questions:

    1. What is your recovery like? Food and sleep
    2. When did you stall previously.
    3. height and weight
    4. Elaborate on your back issues. Is the pain localized? an ache or an acute pain that occurs during lifting? Does lifting make it better or worse? etc etc.

    Number 4 is an interesting one because many people mistake spinal erector soreness as a back injury because it feels weird as shit. You would be working your erectors quite a lot if you have a long torso.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalton Clark View Post
    I think we are onto something. Reading everything it sounds like you are thinking about your back and waist. Learning forward, staying upright. What if you try this: lean forward and put your ass back? Because that is EXACTLY what we want. We want you leaning forward. . .but if you lean forward without counterbalancing yourself with your badonkadonk, clearly you're going to have issues. Most lifters naturally have their body do the other part. If they put their hips back, they will lean more forward or vice versa. However, I have met people who have limited balance and their bodies don't naturally do this for them. If that is the case, you will have to get time under the bar to figure that out.

    Now, not to toot my own horn here, but I managed to squat up to 275 pounds with straight up vertical shins, frog toes, and an extra wide stance. I basically squatted 275 with my groin. So typically good progress can still be made with poor form. Besides, your form is far from the worse we have seen on here and you passed the TUBOW test. Your form is definitely not one that would lead me to suspect injury.

    OP, what weights have you previously stalled at? Don't be shy, we won't judge ya. Just give us some numbers to mull over so we can get you back on the one true path.

    This is a long winded, rambling post but here are our questions:

    1. What is your recovery like? Food and sleep
    2. When did you stall previously.
    3. height and weight
    4. Elaborate on your back issues. Is the pain localized? an ache or an acute pain that occurs during lifting? Does lifting make it better or worse? etc etc.

    Number 4 is an interesting one because many people mistake spinal erector soreness as a back injury because it feels weird as shit. You would be working your erectors quite a lot if you have a long torso.
    1. I eat 3000-4000 calories a day. Ball park macros are 100g fat, 185-220g protein, 350-450g carbs. I have an active job now and will probably need to hit a consistent 4,000+. Sleep on average is probably 7 hrs, buts ranges 7-9 hrs.

    2. My progress has been on and off due to the described injury below. Most recent work weight was 195 I believe. Form was bad and back pain reared it's head, and so I shifted to rehab work for a while, so most recently it wasn't exactly a stall.

    3. 6'1" 220 Lbs

    4. Herniated l4-l5 probably around spring 2016. This was from stalling on the deadlift, getting greedy and stupid and pushing the weight. Form deteriorated and the deadlifts got round, and I got injured. Took a few months off, started again with limited success as there was pain on and off. As of recently, this summer the pain was back, and I wanted to take it easy and let healing happen if at all possible. I decided to stop squatting for a month because I knew form was bad. Instead I did 5x5 deadlifts at a lighter weight, and went lighter on the other lifts as well. Over the month I tried to avoid sitting if I could and slowly added weight to the rehab work. This seemed to help a lot. Now I'm returning to progressing the lifts as normal. I will say though, since this injury my back cracks and pops a lot more, and this is still occurs today. I figured out I have minor scoliosis when this injury occured, which may contribute, I don't know. My back and glutes get very tight so that could also be why. Lifting generally made things feel better when back pain was present, but sometimes it stayed the same throughout the workout. I can't recall the last time my back felt much worse after or during lifting, but I have made an effort to listen to my body and exercise caution.


    The highest I've squatted is 220. That was a while ago and form was really ugly, more recently it's been around 200 where the squats become an ugly grind. Could I push past this? Yeah, probably, maybe progress up to around 300lb, but why would I continue to practice inefficient form? I would much prefer to fix the form and progress.

  10. #10
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    Here are some sets closer to working weight. Thanks for everyone's input so far.

    I had a fan running in these videos, probably want to turn your volume down.


    Here's a bar bath view of my regular squat.

    Here's a rear shot of my regular squat.


    Here is my shitty first attempt at using the cues provided, the first two reps anyway.


    The first two were actually damn close to midfoot, but drifting forward going into the hole. Next session I will attempt with all working sets.

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